Karen Sanders

Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department or School

History and Philosophy


Practically, the entire area of modern day Ghana was once dominated by the Asante Empire. How did such a vast empire come into existence? This empire was able to consolidate the multiple ethnic groups within the region into one unified nation. Who were some of these ethnic groups and how were they brought into the empire? The strength of the Asante’s economy was extremely important to the longevity of their civilization. Their economic strength enabled them to procure funding which they utilized to build an army, to build trade networks, and to increase their reputation within the region. How did they build their economic strength within the region and how did their reputation help to safeguard them from hostile powers? The Asante influenced West African history by manipulating the pattern of trade within the region. The coastline of Ghana was coined, “The Gold Coast” due to the prominence of gold trading activities. However, this was by no means the only trade asset which the Asante possessed. Therefore, what were their other main trade commodities and with whom did the Asante engage in trade? Also, it is important to understand why trade was an important force in the establishment of the Asante’s economic power and how they came to monopolize various trading networks. Then the question of how the Asante lost this economic power will also be explored. Before answering these inquiries, an ethnic profile of the Akan of whom the Asante evolved, must first be undertaken.